Interns: A business case study image

Interns: A business case study

There are many reasons to bring inexperienced young people into your business and many ways you can bring them into your business too. One way is by offering internships.

We want to share a business case study with you to demonstrate the benefits.

In Leicester, we are lucky to have three major universities with supportive internship programmes. At De Montfort University, their internship is called DMU Champions. This internship is a 6-week placement whereby, the intern is paid by the university, to work 18.5 hours per week with a business on a project or task of their choosing.

But what’s the business benefit of taking on an intern?

At Access Generation, we have taken on two interns and will tell you about our experience before the year ends.

So, before we tell you our story, we wanted to share a business case study with you from a local company who have had seven interns in place over the last two years.

Suzie Batson, Group Talent Resourcing Manager, and Paige Liquorish, Talent Resourcing Assistant, at The Watches of Switzerland Group, kindly shared their experience of working with DMU and recruiting interns.

Why did you want to bring interns into the business?

We wanted to raise our brand awareness in the local community because we recognised that not all students travel or move away for their studies so there would be a pool of talent looking for work after graduating.

We also wanted to challenge the perceptions of hiring managers who tended to favour industry knowledge and experience over attitude and attributes.

An intern provides us with an opportunity to promote our brand by giving students a good experience whilst they are with us and then when they’re back on campus with other students we hope our brand will be seen in a positive light.

How easy was it to work with the university to recruit an intern?

DMU are very knowledgeable and took the lead on the whole process. They promote the opportunity and find candidates for us to interview. It was really straight-forward.

What are the top things you would suggest a company considers when taking on an intern?

Listen to DMU and be prepared. We have learnt the importance of being ready for the intern’s arrival. So, even down to the littlest detail such as making sure they have a computer they can use and getting all this prepared well in advance of their arrival is key.

Make sure you have an element of structure to the work the intern will be involved in and make sure there are takeaways for both the business and student.

Our interns have previously told us that they felt they knew more about the world of work now and felt there were more options open to them. Students said they felt more confident because they had examples of work they could demonstrate in future applications.

I would also recommend conducting an exit interview at the end of the internship because this gives you a chance to learn what went well and what the intern felt they had gained from the experience. You can then use their feedback to inform any future recruitment drives.

What do you feel are the benefits of internships?

We have seen an increase in website traffic, however, we have had some big changes over the year including new branding, so, I think a combination of all of our positive changes has helped strengthen our brand awareness.

Our hiring managers have been impressed with the interns and are now considering attitudes, behaviour and attributes when recruiting.

One intern became an employee and we are keeping in touch with the rest via LinkedIn and have invited them to contact us should they wish to work with us.

We are looking forward to continuing to work with DMU to bring students into our business. We have ambitions to take on placement students in the future too.

A big thanks to Suzie and Paige for sharing their experience.

What are the options to bring young people into my business?

Download our free guide to find out all the options you have to bring young people into your business.